– The Torah
– The Torah
This is a special time and an obvious week of Gratitude and Thanksgiving.
Note: Every year I try to share a Thanksgiving message with our Tribe/Community. Some of this ‘recycled’ from previous years because of the timeless nature of these thoughts.
Three things to think about this Thanksgiving and Holiday Season:
For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.
Then I found this definition and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.
Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH.’ Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.
Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that you truly VALUE end up COSTING NOTHING!
Bob and Melinda Blanchard, in their wonderful entrepreneurial book Live What You Love, have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”
My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive … family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc. … and, some that are not … a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.
Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not about ‘money.’ Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.
Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness … I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.
Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window, then, that man was never truly wealthy.”
In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best lines was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”
Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.
The Thanksgiving and holiday season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… and enjoy your ‘WEALTH’.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on this whole idea of ‘Gratitude’. Mindfulness. Meaning. Purpose. And more. It is particularly powerful in the mind-body relation, especially keeping some kind of gratitude journal.
Take a little bit of time each day to remind yourself of the good things and the things for which you are most grateful.
I’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of people experience serious ‘giving‘. I’ve also watched many of these people literally move from success to significance. While I don’t exactly understand how it works, I know that giving brings much more happiness than receiving.
There’s a great line from a country song:
“It’s not what you take with you … when you leave the world behind.”
“It’s what you leave behind you … when you leave this world behind you.”
I believe all of three of these thoughts help us make a life, not a living. There’s no better time of the year than now to share with others.
From all of us at For Impact and The Suddes Group, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and great holiday season.
Special Note: Every year I share these 3 stories that you may want to share with your children/grandchildren or family. THE HAPPY PRINCE is a great story/fable. THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD are seen through the eyes of a child. The third is a very powerful parable about giving called the SEA OF GALILEE.
Life and work are hectic. Here is a simple reminder to LIVE and BE.
We are human BE-ings, not human DO-ings.
Seems like we’re always encouraging you to Take Action, Just Ask, Just Visit, Just DO Something…
But, it’s also important to just BE:
BE present during your present–ations.
BE in the moment, with family, friends, associates.
BE yourself, authentic in every way.
BE an entrepreneur, at least in spirit.
(From the book The Way of Adventure by Jeff Salz)
Discovery is never THE goal for a visit.
When I hear, “It’s just a discovery visit” or, “We’re only meeting to do discovery,” I cringe. To me this is like saying, “We’re just getting together to be authentic.”
Discovery is part of our presentation framework. It’s something we do (ALWAYS).
It’s not THE goal.
To be clear, often we visit and do discovery – with no ask. But that’s not the goal. The goal is to maximize the relationship at this given moment! The goal is to engage around our impact with such passion, energy and enthusiasm that the person says, “Wow!!! GREAT!!! HOW CAN I HELP?!?!”
You would never reply, “It’s great that you want to help! Thank you! But today I am only here to do discovery. Yes, there are lives we could be saving, changing or impacting with your immediate help but, you see… I’m only here to do discovery!”
“It’s just a discovery visit” is incompatible with the For Impact Point of View: we shouldn’t be doing this work (the programs, the fundraising… any of it) if we aren’t having an IMPACT, if we aren’t changing, saving or impacting lives.
Last week we were with the New Jersey AFP at its annual Conference on Philanthropy. The conference theme was STORY – something we at The Suddes Group are pretty passionate about!
My basic message:
My thanks and kudos to the NJ AFP leadership. We speak at conferences all over the world and this was one of the best programmed and organized gatherings I can remember.
I was reading an article about #1 Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney – He’s a good, young coach full of pithy aphorisms.
I never thought I would be quoting a Clemson coach (!) but want to credit him with B.Y.O.E.
“B.Y.O.E. BRING YOUR OWN ENTHUSIASM.” Suddes
Think about this! If you don’t bring it, no one else will.
B.Y.O.E. at your board meetings.
B.Y.O.E. at all your visits and presentations.
B.Y.O.E. with your team/staff.
Again, if you don’t bring it, who will?
Here’s a simple question: Would Apple or Microsoft or Starbucks (or any other company) ask ‘VOLUNTEERS’ to do their ‘SALES’?
Just the idea of the word ‘SOLICITATION’ (the implication of which I cannot go into in a PG-13 document), should be enough to make you give up on this 1950’s “Peer-To-Peer Solicitation” model!
Instead, a PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATION involves PROFESSIONAL STAFF engaged in CONVERSATION and DIALOGUE with a goal of MAXIMIZING THE RELATIONSHIP! It’s a PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE with PROFESSIONAL FOLLOW-UP.
Note: In the Old Model, a typical ‘ask’ by a peer (to a peer) goes “I have your (3 x 5) card. Can you give something? Just send it in.” WOW! Clear. Concise. Compelling. (NOT!)
Here are 7 pretty solid reasons not to use VOLUNTEERS to make SOLO SOLICITATIONS:
Volunteer Leaders, Board Members and Current Investors are all a huge part of the TEAM SELLING process. GREAT VOLUNTEER LEADERS and GREAT BOARD MEMBERS are literally worth their weight in gold. They should be used before, during and after the VISIT but, they should never be used ALONE!
*Interesting: The word ‘voluntary’ is defined as: ‘organ solo played in church before, during or after a service.’
In case you haven’t noticed we spend quite bit of time helping our For Impact tribe get out of the office – doing more VISITS and making more ASKS.
So what happens AFTER the visit?
When implementing a SALES process and SALES approach to funding, there are three equal parts to every visit/ask: Predispose, Present, Follow up.
These 7 points about Follow Up have a wide application – And can help you immensely in making things happen AFTER the visit:
We need to get out our follow-up emails/letters within 24 hours – no matter what. If we wait to write the perfect proposal or pitch, with time, it (1) takes more effort and (2) we lose momentum. I’ll take 80% perfect at 24 hours over 90% perfect in three weeks.
Speed doesn’t kill… time does.
One action will lead to more. Undefined action leads to no action.
Save yourself HOURS by converting ‘proposals’ to ‘bullet points.’
Email is for follow-up notes. Use the phone to make things happen.
Be a closer. Always.
It’s an attitude. Your ability to close translates to lives saved, impacted and transformed. This isn’t about some ‘business jargon’… it’s about real stuff… important stuff. We either believe it or we don’t. And, if we do, then we need to close. If we don’t – let’s quit now.
Today is the day to remember the sacrifice and contribution of all who served in the military.
Every day should be used to thank veterans for keeping our country free and safe.
If you have a chance, thank a military person today. Better yet, see if you can hire a recent veteran.
One-third of all ‘homeless’ are military vets. If you can help them through your local shelter, do so. If you don’t know where to help, I’d recommend supporting Chris Megison at Solutions for Change, a For Impact org leading the way in solving this problem.
While it’s a nice gesture to say to our current military, “Thank you for your service” … what really needs to be done is to help them with the TRANSITION from military to a career and family and a new life.
If you are in a position to do so … most are extremely talented, committed leaders … help them to begin their post-military life.
Many of these returning vets would make great TALENT in the For Impact world … as executives, teachers, program leaders, sales and development staff and much more.
I spent my tour (after Notre Dame) as an Infantry Officer at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Missed Vietnam by one class of Infantry Officer Basic Course Graduates. Luck of the draw.) I went through Airborne and Pathfinder, jumped out of planes and helicopters, and was one of the few ROTC Graduates to become a Tactical Officer at O.C.S. (Officer Candidate School). From a leadership/lessons learned perspective, hard to match what Army Infantry provided. Still with me 45 years later.